Discouragement – 1 Kings 19:1-18

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The meaning of discouragement = a loss of confidence or enthusiasm; dispiritedness

Even the most committed to God face times of oppression/persecution and can feel all alone – even to the point of feeling down, completely discouraged and even depressed. (v1-4)

Elijah was a great Prophet.

People in any form of ministry, including rehab ministry, motorcycle club ministry, as well as those 5-fold ministry, are not immune to being attacked, to feeling alone, to feeling down to the point of desperation or depression, of feeling fear. (v1-4)

So what causes DISCOURAGEMENT?

The quickest way to get discouraged and disillusioned with the faithfulness of God is to look to people and circumstances as the determining factors.

People will fail you.

Circumstances will falter.

But God’s faithfulness doesn’t diminish in the midst of hard realities.

The main causes of discouragement:

#1 Cause – FATIGUE

When you are physically or emotionally exhausted, you are a prime candidate to be infected with discouragement. Your defenses are lowered and things can seem bleaker than they really are. This often occurs when you are halfway through a major project and you get tired.


When unfinished tasks pile up, it’s natural to feel overwhelmed. And when trivial matters, or the unexpected interrupt you and prevent you from accomplishing what you really need to do, your frustration can easily produce discouragement.

#3 Cause – FAILURE

Sometimes, your best laid plans fall apart – How do you react? Do you give in to self-pity? Do you blame others?

#4 Cause – FEAR

Fear is behind more discouragement than we’d like to admit.

The fear of criticism (What will they think?); the fear of responsibility (What if I can’t handle this?); and the fear of failure (What if I blow it?) can cause a major onset of the blues.

What is the cure for discouragement?

There’s a fascinating story in the Bible about how a guy named Nehemiah mobilized the residents of Jerusalem to build a wall around the entire city.

Half way through the project, the citizens became discouraged and wanted to give up — because of the four causes I’ve just given.

Here’s what Nehemiah taught about defeating discouragement (Nehemiah 4):


It does you no good to pretend you don’t feel what you feel.

You can’t take action against a negative feeling until you first admit you have it.

A strong Christian is not someone who never experiences negative feelings.

It’s someone who has learned what to do with them when he or she has them and how to process them biblically.


If you need a break — take one!

You’ll be more effective when you return to work.

If you’re burning the candle at both ends, you’re not as bright as you think!


Discouragement doesn’t necessarily mean you are doing the wrong thing.

It may just be that you are doing the right thing in the wrong way.

Try a new approach.

Shake things up a little.


Just ask Him. He can give you new energy.

There is incredible motivating power in faith.

And remember it is: “Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the LORD Almighty” (Zechariah 4:6 NIV)


Fight back!

Discouragement is a choice.

If you feel discouraged, it’s because you have chosen to feel that way.

No one is forcing you to feel bad.

Hang on! Do what’s right in spite of your feelings. No feeling lasts forever.

Even the most committed to God face times of uncertainty. (v 10, 14)

God is always there. (v 5, 7, 9, 11-18)

As we mature as Spirit-filled Christians the Holy Spirit usually (or very often) uses ‘a still small voice’ – a ‘whisper’ to our spirit. (v 11-13) rather than some dramatic sign.

Even though we may feel alone (in our Christian walk and/or ministry) we are not.

God has always had His faithful remnant in His capable hands. (v 18)

Sometimes we have to ‘Go back the way you came’ – backtrack on our journey – or go back to some point, place, relationship, situation or circumstance with new and fresh revelation. (v 15)


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